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German Language Proficiency Test for Admission to Higher Education (DSH)


The DSH is a German language examination which certifies sufficient German skills for admission to a degree course at a German university. Proof of such proficiency is required at the time of enrollment! 

The DSH consists of a written and an oral examination. The written examination is performed before the oral examination.

Acceptance of the DSH certificate

The DSH provided at the University of Bonn is not registered with the German Rector’s Conference (HRK) or with the German as a Foreign Language Association (FaDaF). The DSH certificate may not be accepted at other universities.

The examination regulations for the DSH at the University of Bonn are based on the Framework regulations for German language examinations for admission to study at German academic institutions (RO-DT) of the HRK in the version from May 3, 2011 and the KMK from November 17, 2011.

Admission to the examination

Applicants from non-EU states can only sit the DSH at the University of Bonn after they have been granted admission to the University of Bonn!

Applicants from EU states can register for the DSH directly with the German as a Foreign Language section (6.4).

Holders of the DSH 2 certificate are eligible for enrollment in all degree programs at the University of Bonn.

For the following degree programs, DSH 1 is sufficient:

  • English Studies (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Anthropology of the Americas (Bachelor of Arts)
  • Spanish Culture in its European Context (Master of Arts)
  • Latin American Cultural Studies (Master of Arts)
  • Applied Linguistics (Master of Arts)
  • North American Studies (Master of Arts)
  • English Literatures and Cultures (Master of Arts)
  • Spanish Culture and European Identity (Master of Arts)
DSH 3 is required for the following degree programs:
  • Master of Education

Exemption from the DSH and examination regulations

Cases in which individuals are exempt from the DSH requirement are regulated in the DSH examination regulations at the University of Bonn.

Neither admission to study on a master’s degree program (with the exception of a master’s degree program taught in English or another foreign language) nor admission to a doctoral degree program exempts students from the DSH requirement. The DSH examination regulations does not exempt holders of a degree qualification in “German Studies” issued by a non-German university from the need to pass the examination. Applications for exemption from the DSH examination are to be submitted to the examination committee chairperson Dr. Andrea Lax-Küten.

The DSH examination regulations are available here.

The latest DSH results of the University of Bonn in a nationwide comparison (in German language)


€ 110

Entry to the examination requires proven payment of the fee. Proof is to be substantiated by the receipt of payment. This must be submitted at the entry to the examination room.


Please note the examination dates given below. No further DSH examinations will be run prior to the beginning of the respective semester. We do not perform individual examinations.

Summer semester 2021

  • Written examination: March 23, 2021 (registration deadline: March 12, 2021)

Winter semester 2021/22

  • Written examination: September 14, 2021 (registration deadline: September 7, 2021)

Written DSH

The written DSH consists of three parts:

  1. Listening comprehension (HV)
  2. Written comprehension (LV) and academic language structures (WS)
  3. Performing a written task following set instructions (TP)

An exact description of the individual elements of the examination are provided here.

Please note the following examination rules:

  1. Candidates may not have access to a cellular phone, a smart phone or a smart watch for the duration of the examination.
  2. Candidates may only write on the examination papers with a non-erasable ball-point pen. Candidates may not use an erasable felt pen (e.g. Frixion Tintenroller) or lead pencils. The use of Tippex is prohibited. Non-compliance with these rules will lead to the papers not being marked. 
  3. Candidates may make use of a German-German dictionary; bilingual dictionaries are prohibited.
  4. Dictionaries brought into the examination may not contain hand-written notes; this will be classified as attempted misconduct.

Any infringement of these regulations will result in immediate exclusion from the DSH examination; the candidate will be awarded a FAIL grade.


Oral DSH

The oral examination is conducted individually and consists of three parts:

  1. An introductory phase with a presentation,
  2. A short presentation of a general academic or topical socio-political issue
  3. Questions on the student’s presentation and/or their field of study.

The questions section will not exceed 20 minutes.


Example examination DSH (MP): Text and exercises

Examination committee

Chief examiner: Dr. Andrea Lax-Küten, Head of Section, German as a Foreign Language



Sonja Hammer
German language courses and language examinations
Phone: +49 228 73-7708


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